Every spring, California legislators offer new ideas or proposed changes to programs and policies that touch the lives of California’s roughly 10 million students, from preschool to K-12 to higher education. Many of these ideas stand to improve opportunity and access for students of color, students from lower-income communities, and English learners – if decision-makers in Sacramento are encouraged to make them a reality.
That’s why each year, The Education Trust–West analyzes proposals for the state budget and new legislation and identifies the top eight greatest opportunities to advance educational equity and justice.
Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2022-2023 state budget includes several of these opportunities. Read our response to Newsom’s budget proposal for an analysis of key funding priorities for moving educational justice forward.
The Equity 8 for 2022:
AB 2617 (Holden) and Governor’s Budget Proposal ($500 Million) on Dual Enrollment – Governor Newsom has proposed $500 million for Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to strengthen and expand access for high school students to participate in dual enrollment opportunities. Dual enrollment allows high school students to take college courses and earn college credit: a powerful way to expand educational opportunities, improve economic mobility, and meet California’s workforce needs. Ed Trust – West’s most recent report, Jumpstart, outlines how dual enrollment can create more college and career pathways between K-12 schools and California Community Colleges while also calling out inequitable access gaps affecting Black, Native, and Latinx students. Governor Newsom’s proposed investment would catalyze a reimagination of dual enrollment and help close racial equity gaps.
Ed Trust-West recommends the Legislature approve this proposal and add key amendments such as: (a) prioritizing student groups that are currently underrepresented in dual enrollment offerings, (b) adding a communications strategy to ensure students and parents receive information about dual enrollment, and (c) offer both high school graduation credit and college units for dual enrollment courses, meaning both high school graduation credits and college units, among other amendments.
AB 2617 (Holden) mirrors much of the Governor’s dual enrollment proposal and includes most of the amendments that Ed Trust–West advocated for.
Status: The Governor’s budget proposal is pending in the Legislature.
Status: AB 2617 (Holden) passed the Assembly Higher Education Committee on April 5th by a vote of 11-0, with 1 absent or abstaining. It is now awaiting consideration by the Assembly Education Committee.
AB 2565 (Rubio) and Budget Request ($388 Million) – Math/Science Teacher Professional Development – Ed Trust-West is co-sponsoring AB 2565 (Rubio) with the California Association of Science Educators. This bill would strengthen K-12 mathematics and science instruction by providing $388 million over three years for professional development for math and science teachers.
California has failed to support low-income students and students of color in achieving high levels in math and science, thus impeding equitable access to higher education. Correspondingly, it has limited opportunities for these students to pursue high-paying jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math-related (STEM) professions.
AB 2565 would provide funding to the California Partnership for Math and Science Education in order to strengthen the state’s and local districts’ abilities to offer high-quality professional development aligned with California’s curriculum frameworks for mathematics and science. Funding would be used to support professional development providers with developing high-quality professional development for County Offices of Education and Local Educational Agencies. It also means supporting and expanding the existing statewide math and science communities of practice that have been formed by the California Partnership for Math and Science Education, targeted at LEAs with the greatest need. AB 2565 aligns with ETW’s goal of making math and science instruction equitable, engaging, and rigorous for all of California’s culturally and linguistically diverse students. AB 2565 would amplify the impact of our related advocacy to ensure that California’s revised mathematics framework (scheduled to be approved by the State Board of Education in July 2022) centers on practices that expand equitable access to high-quality, relevant instruction.
Status: Status: AB 2565 (Rubio) passed the Assembly Education Committee on April 6, 2022. It is now awaiting consideration by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Status: The budget request to implement AB 2565 (Rubio) is pending in the Legislature.
AB 1705 (Irwin) to Close Loophole on Developmental Education and Budget Request on Equitable Placement and Completion Support – Placement in remedial education has delayed or ended the educational careers of many low-income students and students of color at California’s community colleges. In 2017, the passage of AB 705 (Irwin) served as a foundational attempt to phase out remedial education in community colleges. But some colleges found a loophole. AB 705 required community colleges to improve a student’s chances of transfer by placing them in transfer-level coursework in English and math within one year. It also required the colleges to use specific metrics in the placement of students. Some community colleges continued to enroll students in remedial education, arguing that AB 705 applied to the placement of students and not to enrollment. AB 1705 clarifies that AB 705 applies to both the placement and enrollment of students in transfer-level coursework.
To further address the problem of remedial education, Ed Trust – West is co-sponsoring a budget request for one-time funding that would incentivize community colleges to phase out traditional remedial courses and scale up evidence-based alternatives. This could include corequisite courses: academic supports that supplement transfer-level courses and leverage high-impact, data-driven strategies proven to provide students with the best chance of successfully completing transfer-level coursework. A substantial body of research finds that corequisites are more effective for student success than remedial courses, and states including Colorado, Indiana, Georgia, Tennessee, and West Virginia are seeing dramatic results in completion of transfer-level courses, especially for Black and Latinx students. There are many ways to implement corequisite supports, including pairing a transfer-level course with a corequisite support course, extending instructional time through additional lecture or lab hours, academic support services, or supplemental instruction.
Status: The budget request for corequisite supports Equitable Placement and Completion Support is pending in the Legislature.
Status: AB 1705 (Irwin) is awaiting consideration by the Assembly Higher Education Committee.
AB 1746 (Medina) – Cal Grant Reform – Financial aid for college students has not kept pace with the cost of attendance. AB 1746 (Medina) would reform the Cal Grant program so that state financial aid reaches more students, thereby providing greater financial assistance. This bill would remove barriers such as grade point average (GPA) verification, increase basic needs awards for students with dependent children, and use the new federal Student Aid Index to determine the level of financial need. These changes would expand Cal Grant eligibility to 200,000 more California students, including adult learners, student parents, and students of color. AB 1746 is a reintroduction of AB 1456 (Medina), which was vetoed in 2021.
Status: AB 1746 (Medina) is awaiting consideration by the Assembly Higher Education Committee.
AB 2774 (Weber) – Adds Lowest-Performing Subgroup to LCFF for Supplemental and Concentration Funds – By law, the funding formula for California’s K-12 schools (known as the Local Control Funding Formula or LCFF) does not take student groups of color into account when calculating additional funding, failing to acknowledge—and exacerbating—the inequities Black students experience in the K-12 school system. Currently, standardized assessment scores for Black students are among the lowest across all racial/ethnic subgroups in California. In 2019, about 90,000 Black students didn’t factor into calculations for supplemental funding because they are not English learners, foster youth, or low-income students.
AB 2774 (A. Weber) would modify calculations of supplemental funding in the Local Control Funding Formula to also include students in the lowest-performing subgroup or subgroups, excluding those in groups already receiving extra funding from either state or federal sources. “Lowest-performing” would be based on the most recently available mathematics or English language arts results on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. If enacted, the Superintendent of Public Instruction would use results from the 2019 assessments for the first year the law is in effect. This lowest-performing subgroup would continue to receive supplemental funding until its performance meets or exceeds the highest-performing subgroup of pupils in the state.
AB 2774 (A. Weber) is a reintroduction of AB 575 (S. Weber), which was enacted in the 2019 Budget Act in the form of a block grant.
Status: AB 2774 (A. Weber) is awaiting consideration by the Assembly Education Committee.
AB 2832 (R. Rivas) – Whole Child Community Equity Screening Tool – Currently, California uses poverty levels to determine areas needing investments in early learning and care (ELC). The poverty level is calculated using the number of children aged 0-5 in families with incomes that are 85 percent of the state median income. While income is certainly an important indicator of need, additional measures can better guide investments in early learning that can help promote equity.
AB 2832 would require the California Department of Social Services, in consultation with the Early Childhood Policy Council, to develop and implement a system to direct ELC funding and resources toward underserved communities. This would help alleviate racial and economic inequities. AB 2832 also includes the establishment of the Whole Child Community Equity Screening Tool (WCEST), which would map out the state’s communities with the greatest need of ELC investments based on racial and economic equity gaps. The state would then use WCEST to disburse new state and/or federal funds and resources to those high-need communities.
Status: AB 2832 (R. Rivas) is awaiting consideration by the Assembly Human Services Committee.
AB 2806 (Rubio) – Ban on Preschool Suspension and Expulsion – Students who are suspended or expelled from school lose the opportunity to develop critical social, emotional, and academic skills that lay the foundation for future educational success. Preschool children are suspended and expelled at higher rates than K-12 students, and Black and Latinx children, especially boys, are disproportionately impacted by this harmful practice.
AB 2806 (Rubio) would prohibit suspension and expulsion in state preschool and childcare programs. It would also provide for early childhood mental health consultation (ECMHC) in order to (1) support the mental health of teachers, children, and families, (2) buffer the effects of toxic stress and trauma, and (3) provide optimal development and learning for every student.
Status: AB 2806 (Rubio) passed the Assembly Human Services Committee on April 5th by a vote of 8-0. It is now awaiting consideration by the Assembly Education Committee.
AB 1868 (L. Rivas) – Disaggregation of English Learners and Long-Term English Learners and Goals for Long-Term English Learners in LCAPs – California is home to over 1 million English learners (EL). Of those, 54 percent either are or are at risk of becoming long-term ELs (LTEL); that is to say that, American public schools, despite having taught students for six or more years, have failed to help them become proficient in English.
AB 1868 would illuminate the needs of LTEL students by requiring the California Department of Education to disaggregate EL student achievement data to understand better how our state, districts, and schools serve ELs, LTELs, and those at risk of becoming LTEL. Furthermore, the bill would require those LEAs serving a student population of at least 25 percent LTELs or students at risk of becoming LTELs to explicitly state in their Local Control and Accountability Plan the goals, strategies, and investments they will undertake to serve the needs of these students.
Status: AB 1868 (L. Rivas) passed the Assembly Education Committee on April 6, 2022. It is now awaiting consideration by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.